It looks like our weather pattern is slowly but surely changing. While there have been some cool days, the cold front that welcomed us Saturday morning was a definite salutation to the fall. It was pretty cool, down in the 40's, but that is welcome right now. It was a bit of a mullet blow also, but those are far more acceptable than the hurricanes we were encountering during August and September.
Last week saw a split weather forecast for the opposite ends of the coast. We will have a similar situation again this week, but with lighter winds forecast. The current forecast, which can change rapidly at this time of year, has the wind and seas on the edge of comfort into the weekend along the northern coast and pretty nice along the southern coast
As the water temperatures continue to drop, the fall fishing keeps getting better. In the past few days there have been some large drum at Cape Point in Buxton, gray trout scattered along the entire coast, a speckled trout bite that is slowly getting better, some large flounder, especially around Carolina Beach, kings scattered along the entire coast, pompano from the surf and piers from Atlantic beach southward and lots of spots in lots of places.
The large drum, in the Hatteras surf, are nice and should get more consistent over the next few weeks. They like large chunks of bait, soaking on the bottom and have definitely shown a preference for feeding at night.
Gray trout are a personal favorite of mine and they have been biting in good numbers all along the coast. Several good places to consider are the Hatteras, Ocracoke and Core Banks surf, Around the Cape Lookout Jetty, Morehead City Turning Basin and Shipping Channel, just out New River Inlet, Johns Creek, WOFES, and all the nearshore artificial reefs along the coast.
The fall flounder bite is going strong and producing some large catches. Most inlets are good spots to try and some real hogs have been caught around Carolina Beach Inlet and in Snows Cut.
More of the big fall yellowbellies spots were caught last weekend, but the bite was sporadic in places. Bloodworms and nighttime were a good combination with the clear bright nights. That may be worse this week with the moon growing to full Friday night, so be forewarned.
The king bite was a little slow over the weekend, but is good in general. There have been good catches from Oregon Inlet to Little River Inlet.
The false albacore have shown up too. There are some Alberts along most of the coast, but the hot spot has been between Beaufort Inlet and Cape Lookout.
The inshore striper bite has been pretty good around Manns Harbor and should continue to improve as the water cools.
The offshore action has been good whenever the weather allowed the trip. Wahoo are the top offshore catches right now, but there are also dolphin, tuna, and an occasional billfish.
Congratulations to Capt. Jimmy Dupree and the crew of the OBX Girl for winning the Teach's Lair King Mackerel Shootout and to Capt. Leon Messer and the crew of the Wet N Sassy for winning the South Brunswick Islands King Classic. Congratulations also to Capt. Dean Spatholt and crew of the Fish Meister, who wrapped up the Southern Kingfish Association Angler of the Year title, during the Teach's Lair tournament.
This weekend's tournaments are the Toys for Tots King Mackerel Tournament (252-728-6817) in Morehead City and the rescheduled Wrightsville Beach King Mackerel Tournament (910-256-4430) in Wrightsville Beach. The Rock the Inlet Tournament (252-473-3610) at Oregon Inlet begins November 1 and runs through January 15.
Capt. Jerry Dilsaver